Grace and style are always in fashion at historic, grand Omni hotels & resorts, where guests can find old-world hospitality plus the modern conveniences necessary for today’s travelers. These historic hotels recall the opulence and elegance of times past, creating an experience unlike any other. Among their accolades, many of these historic Omni hotels & resorts are also home to a 2021 Top 25 Historic Hotels of America Most Historic Golf Course. Between hosting noteworthy guests and historic moments, there’s plenty to discover at these premier destinations.
1766: The Omni Homestead Resort
One of the most historic hotels is America’s first resort, built before the United States was a country in 1766. The Omni Homestead Resort, has welcomed 23 U.S. presidents for relaxing breaks from Washington D.C.; most notably Thomas Jefferson, who spent three weeks soaking in the healing pools in Hot Springs (now, aptly named “Jefferson pools“). Among the many recreational activities available, the resort is also home to the oldest continuously operated golf course in the United States, The Old Course.
1796: Omni Bedford Springs Resort
Founded among Pennsylvania’s healing mineral springs, Omni Bedford Springs Resort opened in 1796. With a reputation of luxury, the mountain resort features one of the first golf courses and indoor pools in the United States. In 1885, President James Buchanan received the first transatlantic cable from Queen Victoria during his stay. The historic resort also houses an American flag dating back to 1865. Today it’s the only known 39-star flag in existence, prematurely sewed in anticipation of three new states.
1855: Omni Parker House
Located in one of America’s most historic cities, Omni Parker House has welcomed politicians, literary heroes and actors since its opening in 1855. The hotel hosted a weekly meeting of the Saturday Club, a group of writers and thought leaders, who witnessed Charles Dickens’ first reading of A Christmas Story in the hotel. Also a culinary destination, it’s the home of the Parker House Roll, Boston cream pie and even the engagement dinner of future President John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Bouvier. Don’t let the humble name “house” fool you, this hotel is a living landmark along the Freedom Trail.
1902: Omni Mount Washington Resort
Mount Washington Hotel, opened in 1902, is the last surviving grand hotels in the White Mountains. Regarded as the most exorbitant, the heating and plumbing systems were state-of-the-art and Thomas Edison himself installed the electricity. Today, the resort features a Donald Ross-designed golf course and adjacent ski area for year-around activities. Omni Mount Washington Resort earned its historic resort status in 1986 as the site of the Bretton Woods International Monetary Conference in 1944 that established the World Bank and the gold standard.
1913: The Omni Grove Park Inn
Opened in July of 1913, it took the ambitious builders of The Omni Grove Park Inn less than a year to complete this iconic granite gem. With such a start, it’s no wonder innovators like Edison, Ford, Firestone and Fitzgerald came to stay. Furthermore, the Inn has served some pretty unusual purposes such as a U.S. Navy rehabilitation center after WWII and a safe haven for the Supreme Court in the event of a nuclear attack. Now, better known for its renowned subterranean spa and Donald Ross-designed golf course, this destination was “built for the ages”.
1916: Omni William Penn Hotel
Built by industrialist Henry Clay Frick, Pittsburgh’s Grand Dame, Omni William Penn Hotel, opened in 1916. The luxurious Palm Court lobby and Renaissance-style ballroom quickly earned a reputation as the social center of the city. Walking into the hotel, you can imagine the big bands and parties that took place in this Pittsburgh hot spot. During Prohibition, the hotel housed a speakeasy, which after years of use as a storage space, is once again one of the trendiest bars in the city.
1930: Omni Shoreham Hotel
It’s only fitting that Washington D.C.’s only resort destination, Omni Shoreham Hotel, has a history as notable as the city where it resides. Despite the economic struggles of The Great Depression, the luxurious hotel’s ballrooms host inaugural balls, entertainers and plenty of politicians. The U.S. Navy used the indoor pool to test their Lambertsen Amphibious Respiratory Unit, which ultimately paved the way for today’s Navy SEALS. And even The Beatles found solace from passionate fans on the 7th floor during their first American tour.
Crescent City Elegance
In a city founded over 300 years ago, the Omni Royal Orleans might be considered “new” even with its long history. Famous visitors have made this a frequent New Orleans stop, and the private dining rooms have even hosted important events such as the founding of Jazzfest. Rumor has it that even gumbo was invented here! Dine at The Rib Room and watch life in the French Quarter go by. Decades of Four Diamond Luxury awards makes this hotel a top choice for your New Orleans stay.
The story of Omni La Mansion Del Rio begins just 16 years after the famous fall of the Alamo in San, Antonio, TX. First serving as a school, the building opened as a luxury hotel for Hemisfair, the 1968 World’s Fair. Its architecture is Spanish colonial with European influences, made of limestone and reminiscent of a grand hacienda. Ask the concierge for a tour of the property to see and learn its history! Best of all, this gracious hotel is located on the shady banks of the Riverwalk in Downtown San Antonio, where you can stroll, visit museums, and find restaurants, bars, and entertainment.
Lush Garden Getaway
Hollywood stars made this Carlsbad, CA, spa and golf destination hotel their playground in the 1960s. The perfect weather and a $50 million renovation have ensured that Omni La Costa Spa & Resort continues to be a year-round paradise for guests desiring the ultimate luxury vacation. Two championship golf courses and one of the nation’s top-ranked spas are set in a garden sanctuary where you can unwind and enjoy yourself in the California sunshine, just like a movie star.
The New Roaring 20s
The newly reopened Omni San Francisco Hotel features a historically accurate renovation of the Florentine Renaissance building that’s based on original drawings to recreate the cast stone façade. From the two-story lobby atrium to the crown molding-topped high ceilings in the guest rooms, recall the spirit of the 1920s, with mahogany and cherry wood furnishings, and granite and marble bathrooms. Outside the Grand Ballroom, there’s even a secret garden, where daring guests can steal a kiss! Plus, the cable car line is right outside, making this classic hotel the ideal location for seeing all the best San Francisco sights.
Turn of the Century Charm
In 1903, The Omni King Edward Hotel, Toronto’s first luxury hotel, opened and soon became the center of high society life with its cigar lounges and sitting rooms for afternoon tea. The Crystal Ballroom was the scene of every high-profile gala and wedding for 50 years. Now, this stunning event space has been painstakingly renovated so the gorgeous chandeliers once again shine on the guests below. The floor-to-ceiling windows give panoramic views of downtown Toronto from the 17th floor, making the Crystal Ballroom the highly sought-after venue it was always meant to be, once again.
All of these Omni hotels and resorts are treasured members of Historic Hotels of America and Historic Hotel Worldwide. Each hotel reflects the local character of its city and preserves a living history where guests can step into a time gone by to experience it for themselves.
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About Historic Hotels of America®
Historic Hotels of America is the official program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation for recognizing and celebrating the finest Historic Hotels. Historic Hotels of America has more than 300 historic hotels. These historic hotels have all faithfully maintained their authenticity, sense of place, and architectural integrity in the United States of America, including 44 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. Historic Hotels of America is comprised of mostly independently owned and operated historic hotels. More than 30 of the world’s finest hospitality brands, chains, and collections are represented in Historic Hotels of America. To be nominated and selected for membership into this prestigious program, a hotel must be at least 50 years old; has been designated by the U.S. Secretary of the Interior as a National Historic Landmark or listed in or eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places; and recognized as having historic significance.